scientists find intriguing hints of a building block of the universe. scientists are narrowing their search for a basic component of the universe. physicists aren't sure the subatomic particle they are looking for even exists. if it does, they believe it will help them explain why the universe has mass. two international research groups are looking for the higgs boson particle. they are using the large hadron collider at the european organization for nuclear research or cern. the circular tunnel runs 27 kilometers long. physicists smash protons together at near lit speed of light. then, they check to see whether the process produced new particles. >> the first important result is
that we have been able to streak the most likely mass region, which is clearly an important achie achievement. by the end of 2012, sooner, if i feel lucky, we should be able to say the final word. >> some physicists believe the higgs boson particle is what gave mass to matter. researchers around the world have been looking for this last missing particle in their theory. they hope to conclude whether the particle exists by next year and unravel a mystery of modern physics. japanese firm olympus could be de-listed from the tokyo stock exchange during the day. there must be lots of intense pressure over there. >> stressful day indeed for both the company as well as for the investors. scandal hit japanese optical economic-maker olympus. they will release its first-half earnings report after a one--month delay. the company must do this today to maintain its listing on the
tokyo stock exchange. the company has been in turmoil after it revealed earlier last month that it hit investment losses over the years. the company is said to release its april to september earnings report after it revised its financial statements for the past five years. the two auditor firms in charge have approved the report. sources say that olympus' capital will decrease drastically after including a maximum loss of 135 billion yen in the books. however, for now the firm's debts will not significantly exceed its assets. olympus is expected to set for an overhaul, including a change in top management and rebuilding of its business with a possible tie-up with other firms. the u.s. central bank says it will maintain its monetary policy. that includes keeping a key interest rate near zero through mid-2013. the federal reserve announced
its decision after a policy meeting on tuesday. in a report, the fed says the economy has been growing moderately. it also noted an increase in household spending. these observations mark a slight upward revision from a previous statement released last month. the latest report also notes some positive signs in the overall labor market, but it adds that the unemployment rate remains high and will take time to improve. the report says there are significant downside risks to the economic outlook due to strains in global forecasts markets triggered by europe's credit problems. given these conditions. the fed will also continue with its program to swap short-term government bonds with ones that take longer to mature. it's also known as operation twist. this is in a bid to lower long-term interest rates. u.s. consumers are spending less than predicted. retail sales grew at slowest pace in five months. christmas holiday sales on electronics and apparel are up but consumers pulled back on
building materials and groceries. the commerce department says retail sales edged up by 0.2% from october to about $399 billion. analysts had expected the increase to be triple that figure. sales of electric appliances rose 2.1%. other increases including automobiles, autoparts and clothing. that's at half a percent. department stores and volume retailers showed a slight increase of 0.3%. sales fell though 0.3% for building materials. groceries dropped 0.2%. on the tokyo foreign exchange, the yen hit a two-month high against the euro this wednesday morning. investors are selling europe's single currency against both the yen and the dollar. the euro is now trading at 101.65-70 against the yen. the greenback against the yen is at 77.99-78.01.
sources say investors are questioning whether measures to halt europe's debt crisis can be effectively implemented. there's also concern over a possible downgrade of european bond ratings. stocks are extending their losses here on the tokyo stock exchange following an overnight decline in new york. the nikkei is now down 21 points or 1/4 of 5% at 8,531. broader topix is down one-third of a percent at 738. investors are unloading export-related shares, including electronics and automakers. the selling comes as europe's credit crisis put the euro-yen under pressure. this follows germany's negative comments on stepping up functions of a new organization for supporting debt-strapped nations. here's a look at latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. many japanese investors are pulling out of mutual funds.
the move comes amid falling share prices due to europe's credit problems. the investment trust association of japan says november's net withdrawals from mutual funds totalled about billion. the funds mainly invest in japanese and foreign stocks this. marks the highest amount of withdrawals since october 2008 which came immediately after the collapse of lehman brothers. last month alone equity focused mutual funds suffered combined losses of over $38 billion. let's get a recap now of the latest market figures.
that's the latest in business. back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ai. a man armed with rifle and grenades has attacked shoppers in the belgium city of liege. four people, including the gunmen died, at least 120 were wounded. eyewitnesses say the man opened fire and threw grenades in a busy central square near a courthouse. the attack occurred on tuesday around lunchtime. district prosecutors say a 75-year-old woman and two teenagers died. local media reports that a baby was also killed in the attack. they say the suspect acted alone and reportedly committed suicide. the gunman was 33 years old and from liege. he was convicted three years ago of possessing weapons and growing marijuana. he was expected to turn himself in when the attack took place.
>> translator: there were three big bangs. then firing, shooting in the crowd. and everyone running everywhere. i escaped and hid. >> police are searching the man's home and questioning eyewitnesses to determine his motive. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post-march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and impact on the fukushima daiichi crisis and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on "newsline." radioactive water leak from the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant has earned the operator a reprimand. it was the second seepage from the plant's desalination equipment in less than ten days. tokyo electric power company says about 30 liters of water
leaked from the device, but it remained inside the facility. the outflow is stopped after valves were tightened. the nuclear and industrial safety agency warned tepco against using the equipment. the agency also asked the company to investigate the cause and take steps to prevent a recurrence. earlier this month, about 150 liters of water containing radioactive strontium leaked from the same equipment into the ocean. leaders of french nuclear energy giant areva say they will cut up to 1,500 jobs over the next five years, and they will suspend several projects. they say the accident at fukushima has made it difficult for those producing nuclear power. >> the company projected
operating losses of up to $2.1 billion for this year. then company leaders announced a five-year plan to turn things around. they want to cut costs by $1.3 billion a year. they will cut jobs in germany following their decision to shut down and phase out nuclear reactors. they will freeze hiring of new workers in france as people retire. they will suspend construction projects there and in the u.s. and they will stop their investments in uranium mines in africa. the beautiful game means different things to different people. for some, football is just a sport, but for a group of high school players from japan's northeast coast it can be healing. they have built a relationship with a coach from england, the birthplace of their sport. nhk world's erica stevenson has their story. >> reporter: wembley stadium is the spiritual home of english soccer, and for fans it's considered hallowed ground. very few amateurs ever get to
play here, but last month a group of japanese high school students were granted that honor. the visit was arranged by england's football association as a way of showing its support for the survivors of the march earthquake and tsunami. >> translator: people i know are among those missing, including a friend i played soccer with. i would love to tell him all about this. >> action. >> reporter: tim prepared the students for their visit to wembley. for many years he's been a top football coach in england, even helping to train other coaches. he was actually visiting japan on march 11th, the day the disaster struck. he was deeply moved by the way people helped each other during the crisis and decided to do
something to help, too. >> positivity is a strong key to what i do, but amazing thing is that football is a great bringer together of peep. it always has been and will always be. social aspect and team, team sport, being able to get along with someone. >> reporter: jim kelman led training sessions for the students at a school on the outskirts of london. >> pleased to meet you. >> reporter: first thing he taught them was the importance of building a good relationship. >> pleased to meet you. good. good. when you meet someone, your handshake must be firm, strong. yes, and you look them -- and you look in the eyes because that is respect. respect. respect. you understand, yeah? it's good, it's good. in, around, turn. >> reporter: next, he taught them some of the tactics used by top teams in europe. >> is there space?
players who are clever with the ball in tight areas but creating space in tight areas. >> reporter: at first the students were taken aback by the coach's hands-on teaching style, but gradually they started to relax. >> and the body, if you watch your body. >> hey, bravo! yes. a little look, a little look. yeah, stop there. >> reporter: the disaster has brought japanese and english footballers together and it's hoped that this experience will help the survivors to move on. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, striker. >> translator: i'm going to take what i've learned from coach kelman back home with me and share this approach with everyone. >> so they will take that memory away with them and store that so nights they have something positive to think about and react back to, yes. >> what a great experience for
the players. the coach wants to meet up with his talented new students. the result of a high stakes sale is about to be made public. the japanese government will announce on friday who will build its new fighter jet. the deal is worth several billion dollars. japan is placing or replacing its roster of f-4s. the aircraft has been in service for more than 40 years. the plan is to buy 40 to 50 new jets. >> translator: the selection process is reaching the final stage, and i want to make a decision as soon as possible. >> the candidates include the state of the art f-35. this jet has stealth capabilities that allow it to evade radar. however, developers are still
working on the f-35, so it hasn't been tested in battle. another option, the euro fighter was just use in the conflict in libya. it's equipped with high-performance radar and mobility. japan has never purchased a european-made warplane. the government is also looking at the fa-18, the u.s. navy's main fighter jet t.performs well against other planes as well as ground targets. its price is the lowest of the three candidates, but its stealth capabilities are believed to be less sophisticated. each of the three models has strong and weak points, but f-35 is said to have the greatest potential to counter other aircrafts. still, many are concerned about the fact that the jet's development hasn't been completed. the japanese government is scheduled to convene a security panel meeting friday to decide on the new fighter jet. prime minister yoshihiko noda will be there. candidates in taiwan are ready to go one month before presidential election. a key factor is the island's new
relationship with its political rival, china. president ma yingow of the ruling nationalist party is competing against tsai ing-wen and song chu-yu of the people's first party ahead of the january 14th election. res ent polls such ma and tsai are running neck and neck. ma said the economy grew rapidly through closer ties with china under his one china policy. >> translator: the number of tourists to taiwan surpassed 5 million last year and is expected to reach 6 million this year. it's clear who should be the next president for the island. >> tsai says the one-china policy undermines taiwan's sovereignty and democracy. chu says the policy has deepened taiwan's economic inequality. >> translator: we must have a
fair society. then the people of taiwan can unite and move forward. >> official campaigning kicks off on friday. while china enjoys rapid growth, many rural farming villages are being left out of the boom. one journalist is seeking to change that by helping poor children. his effort is gaining support and spreading across the country. we have this report. >> reporter: guishou province has the lowest per capita gdp in all of china. more than 5 million residents live in povey. many children have to walk several kilometers each day to attend schools in the mountains.
when they get there, the schools do not even serve lunch. so, at lunchtime some children walk back home to eat. others buy cheap snacks in shops near the school. this girl is a fourth grader. her parents have left the village and she lives with her grandparents. she has missed so many lunches that she became malnourished. her height is just over 120 centimeters. >> reporter: but last month the situation completely change d fr zhou and her classmates. the school began serving lunch. students formed a long line to have their first meal.
the menu, stewed pork and vegetables with a boiled egg and rice. zhou finally had enough to eat. >> reporter: the meal is being funded by contributions from city-based entrepreneurs. >> translator: you are china's future. let's work hard together. >> reporter: the program wouldn't have been possible without journalist deng fei. he set up a volunteer group in april to provide school lunches in rural villages.
>> reporter: deng has raised around $4 million in donations and has started new programs in more than 100 schools. he's now one of the best known people in china. >> translator: i'm given strength each time i visit a school. the children's smiles are the source of my energy. >> reporter: deng works as a journalist for a magazine in beijing. to spread awareness about a school project he mainly uses a label, a chinese microblocking service similar to twitter. about 700,000 people follow deng's messages online. when deng sought help for his project, around 500 people offered to cooperate. most were journalists and lawyers. they check out schools in remote areas and make videos asking for donations.
>> translator: i have learned that my actions can change society. civic awareness among the chinese is steadily growing. >> the chinese government recently announced that it would provide about $2.6 billion in funding to support school meal programs. the authorities apparently fear that the legitimacy would be questioned if they did nothing while journalists were helping the poor. the emergence of this and other online tools have empowered young chinese people to move society and help the governments. >> great to see all those
children smiling and not hungry. much of asia is seeing wet conditions. let's get that story and more. hello, welcome back to your weather update. let's take a look at what's happening across asia. across southeast asia, we're monitoring a couple of tropical depressions. this one right here is bringing heavy rain as well as gusty winds to the caroline islands. it could become a tropical storm within the next 24 hours, and so we are concerned about rough sea conditions for the time being. across the west, this storm is gradually easing. however, it will continue to bring heavy rain as well as strong winds to the southern half of vietnam, and winds may die down tomorrow. however, the wet conditions will likely condition for the next couple of days here. meanwhile, a stationary front is producing rain across
thailand -- taiwan as well as the southern islands of japan throughout the day today and up towards the north. a developing low pressure system is bringing a mix of rain and snow in the northeastern corner of china as well as the northern -- i should say the korean peninsula. precipitation should ease. however, hokkaido as well as the hoe tokeu region will be affected in the next 24 hours. temperature-wise, we're expecting 12 degrees in tokyo. we'll get back to sunshine this afternoon. 7 degrees in seoul and across the south 30 degrees in bangkok and 21 degrees in hong kong. heading over to europe, the northwestern portions of europe are still dealing with inclement weather. a series of low pressure systems of affecting northern europe as well as most of continental europe with heavy rain. snow as well as strong winds. particularly in the low pressure
system in northern ireland, winds could hit 150 kilometers per hour today, and across the south, the north and the west coast of the iberian peninsula have been severely affected by high waves. we have some footage coming out of spain. in northern coast it has been experiencing very rough sea conditions. fishermen have been forced to tie up their boats because dangerous conditions are persisting. portugal, too, has been battered by strong coastal winds. warnings will remain in place for western portugal and northern space into thursday. as for precipitation, a mix of rain and snow could become heavy at times across northern europe today and widespread scattered heavy showers will continue across the western continental europe, and in the alpine region snow -- snow could develop over the next couple of days. snow could accumulate over 100 kilometers.
down towards the south, severe thunderstorms are gradually easing across the southern peninsula as well as turkey. as for temperatures, we're expecting 10 degrees in paris and 12 in madrid. warmer than average in berlin with 9 and 6 degrees in warsaw and getting up to 7 degrees in india. all right. i'll leave you now with your extended forecast. all right.
our lead story this hour. scientists are narrowing their search for a basic component of the universe. physicists aren't sure the subatomic particle they are looking for even exists. if it does, they believe it will help them explain why the universe has mass. two international research groups are looking for higgs boson part sal. that's the higgs boson particle. they are using the large hadron collider at european
organization for nuclear research or cern. the circular tunnel runs 27 kilometers long. physicists smash protons together at near lit speed of light. then, they check to see whether the process produced new particles. >> the first important result is that we have been able to restrict the most likely mass region which is clearly an important achievement by the end of 2012, sooner if we're lucky. we should be able to certify our work. >> some physicists believe the higgs boson particle is what gave mass to matter. researchers around the world have been looking for this last missing particle in their theory. they hope to conclude whether the particle exists by next year and unravel a mystery of modern physics. and that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us.